If your Independence Day celebration calls for a big meal, a simple slice of coffeecake might be all that is needed for breakfast.

To a Southerner, breakfast  usually includes much more than this. But looking forward to the meat from the grill and all kinds of side dishes, even we Southerners will forego a big breakfast and enjoy that simple slice of coffeecake.

A good choice is the following Easy Cran-Apple Coffeecake, which combines apples with dried cranberries. Of course, if you don’t like cranberries, you can always use raisins. This simple-to-make coffeecake has a “melt-in-your-mouth” texture.

Recently, I was working on ideas for my newest cookbook, “Simply Southern and More.” I decided that I needed more breads, so I thought about adding another coffeecake. I had some apples that needed to be used, so there’s my first ingredient.

I had seen an old recipe in my files that was made with cut-up canned biscuits, so I gave this idea some more thought and decided to use refrigerated cinnamon roll dough instead of biscuits. When I went to the grocery store, I noticed another refrigerated product called Cinnamon Mini-Bites. This would be great; I would not even have to cut up the cinnamon roll dough!

The mixture that is poured over the fruit and dough gives this new coffeecake a slight taste of pecan pie. What could be better than that? Instead of using chopped pecans over the top, I opted for toffee almond brickle bits. Instead of coffeecake, we now have toffeecake. Cute name and great flavor.


  • 2 cups plus 3 tablespoons self-rising flour
  • ⅓ cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups peeled and chopped apples
  • ½ cup dried cranberries

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple juice (or milk)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and lightly flour a 9-inch-square baking pan. Combine 2 cups flour, oil, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. In a separate bowl, combine the apples, cranberries and 3 tablespoons of flour. Toss to coat. Add to the batter and stir until mixed. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of coffeecake. Allow to cool slightly. To make glaze, combine confectioners’ sugar and apple juice (or milk) and whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over top of cake.


  • 1 ½ cups peeled and chopped apples
  • 1 can refrigerated cinnamon mini-bites (Pillsbury product)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ⅓ cup corn syrup (light or dark)
  • ⅓ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup toffee almond brickle bits

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9-inch round or square dish (should be at least 1 ½ inches deep). Spoon 1 cup of the apples in bottom of pan. Separate the cinnamon mini-bites and place over apples. Sprinkle remaining apples over top. Combine butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and egg in small saucepan. Mix well. Heat just until sugar dissolves and butter is melted. Stir in almond brickle bits. Spoon over top of toffeecake. Bake for about 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown and no longer “doughy.” After the toffeecake has cooled slightly, drizzle the icing that comes with the refrigerated mini-bites over the top.